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US and Canadian regulators open probes into cryptocurrency scams

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U.S. and Canadian state securities regulators announced Monday they have launched dozens of investigations into cryptocurrency scams.

The North American Securities Administrators Association announced the wide-ranging series of probes on Monday, dubbed “Operation Crypto-Sweep.” The investigations, some of which have already concluded, are aimed at unregistered securities offerings and initial coin offerings that promise significant returns without informing investors of the risks.

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A task force convened by the group of state regulators in April has launched 70 investigations, with 35 already facing completed or pending enforcement actions.

 Regulators have already sent cease and desist letters to several alleged schemes, including websites that relied on fake addresses and photos to appear legitimate when seeking investors. Officials said there will be additional enforcement actions to come against companies looking to defraud cryptocurrency investors.
“The actions we’ve taken to date are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Joe Borg, NASAA president and director of the Alabama Securities Commission.

Regulators invited the public to come forward with additional potential scams, while urging investors to be vigilant in seeking investments in the new arena.

The move by state regulators to crack down on cryptocurrency scams comes amid growing attention to virtual currencies by federal regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

 “You’re going to see in this space a lot more collaboration and cooperation going forward,” said Borg.
Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Andrea Ricci

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‘Exonerated Five’ member warns of a ‘dangerous time’ after latest Central Park incident

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On CNN Tuesday, Yusef Salaam, one of the members of the Exonerated Five, warned about the implications of recent racist incidents to the state of civil rights in America.

"I want to ask you, in the course of the last couple of days we've covered this story, we've covered the story of a man who died after police put him in a hold with a knee to the neck. Yesterday I spoke with an African-American journalist who covered the Kentucky governor being hung in effigy, with people doing it who didn't seem to understand why that was problematic," said anchor Brianna Keilar. "And I just wonder what that says to you, after all of these decades, about where the country is."

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Gray skies loomed over Florida's Atlantic coast Tuesday, just one day before two astronauts were set to blast off aboard a SpaceX capsule on the most dangerous and prestigious mission NASA has ever entrusted to a private company.

There was a 60 percent chance for favorable weather for Wednesday's flight, according to Tuesday's latest Cape Canaveral forecast.

US astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have been in strict quarantine for two weeks ahead of their trip on the brand-new Crew Dragon capsule, which will be propelled by a Falcon 9 rocket.

Both the capsule and the rocket were manufactured by SpaceX, the start-up founded in 2002 by the then-thirty-something Elon Musk, a brilliant and brash Mars-obsessive who made his fortune with PayPal and also created the famous Tesla electric cars.

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DOJ closes insider trading investigations against three senators — but is still investigating Richard Burr: report

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On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Justice Department officials are closing insider trading investigations into three senators — Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK).

However, a fourth probe, into insider trading allegations against Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), is reportedly ongoing.

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation began the investigations two months ago, as reports emerged that several members of Congress, their spouses or their investment advisers sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock after lawmakers attended closed-door briefings about the threat posed by the new coronavirus," reported Aruna Viswanatha. "Some of those trades spared lawmakers as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses as stocks sank by mid-March."

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